An subscription reflects the past commitment between you and your customers. It describes the different features (services, options) to which your customers is entitled, as well as the associated pricing rules.
A subscription is created based on an offer, and it inherits all the attributes of the offer at the time of subscription.
In the life cycle of a subscription, two main stages can be distinguished:
- Startup which results in the first billing
- Renewal which occurs at each new period based on the periodicity (monthly, annual, etc.).
The subscription can include (depending on the subscribed offer):
- Startup Fees (also known as ‘Setup Fees’, ‘Initial Fees’, etc.),
- Trial Period (free or paid),
- Periodicity (monthly, semi-annual, annual, etc.),
- Minimum Commitment Duration,
- Termination Fees,
- Activatable Features after subscription,
A subscription (unlike an offer) is linked to a customer.
It is also possible to differentiate the beneficiary of a subscription from its buyer, which is useful in certain scenarios (e.g., franchises). In this case, ProAbono invoices the buyer and grants access rights to the beneficiary.
A Subscription is created automatically when the customers selects an offer in the Customer Portal and completes the workflow. Later, all operations related to this subscription can be performed through the Customer Portal, such as changing the offer, modifying options, downloading invoices, etc.
Trial Period (free or paid)
The Trial Period is a parameter that allows you to offer your customer a predetermined period to test your subscription before starting the actual billing. The trial period is a customizable parameter that allows you to limit or grant access to the different features included in the offer. This way, you can provide your customers with full access to your application, site, or service during the trial period or restrict their usage.
For example: Your Starter offer includes a 14-day trial period with no additional charges, providing full access to all features of the offer.
The subscription inherits the periodicity configured in the offer.
This periodicity can be:
Example: €200/month, €50/quarter, etc.
- One-time with an end date. The subscription will naturally end after a specified number of periods.
For example: Your Starter offer is a limited-time offer to explore your application. It is set to be a time-limited offer without a trial period and without any fees, with a monthly periodicity. You choose to set an end date for the subscription after 3 periods. Your Starter offer allows your future customers to subscribe to a subscription and explore your application for 3 months.
Minimum Commitment Duration
This commitment is defined in terms of the number of periods and is unique; it is not automatically renewed after its expiration.
For example: Your Premium offer provides full access to your application. It is set to be an offer without a trial period and with a monthly periodicity. You choose to set a minimum commitment duration of 12 months. Your Premium offer allows your future customers to subscribe to a subscription that cannot be terminated during the first 12 months.
Activatable Characteristics after Subscription
Characteristics are the elements that make up your offers. These elements can be considered as options, services, add-ons, or other variables that will influence the price of the subscription. For more information about features, click here.
There are several processes around the subscription that will help you manage the commercialization of your service on a daily basis.
With ProAbono, you can:
|Create a Subscription||Formalize a customers’s subscription to one of your services.||A new subscription is initialized based on the selected offer.|
|Start a Subscription||The subscription starts when the payment method has been successfully validated. An initial transaction associated with the chosen offer’s pricing is performed to ensure that your customers can subscribe to your service.||The subscription starts, and the first invoice is generated.|
|Modification of a Subscription||Modify the initial parameters of the subscription, in case of input errors or to evolve the subscription in a specific way (e.g., without subscribing to a new offer). The features contained in the subscription can be updated.||The calculation of future invoices may be affected by the new elements, such as adding or removing features and/or modifying prices, tiers, quantities, etc.|
|Renewal of a Subscription||Update the periods of active subscriptions to the correct date (end of the previous period).||A new period is associated with the subscription.|
|Change of Offer||Change the reference offer associated with a subscription to meet a new customer need or when you want to remove the initial offer from your catalog.||The subscription is associated with the specified new offer. It is no longer linked to the previous offer.|
|Subscription Suspension at Expiration||Temporarily suspend the customer’s subscription and the associated billing. The suspension takes effect at the end of the current period.||A suspended subscription limits the customer’s rights without terminating it. This subscription can be reactivated at any time to resume billing.|
|Subscription Termination at Expiration||Terminate the cutomer’s subscription, effective at the end of the current period.||The rights and usage of this subscription will be preserved until the end of the current period. Once that date has passed, the rights will be revoked. i.e., until the date has passed, this action is reversible (you can cancel the termination request at expiration).|
|Restart a Subscription||Restart a suspended subscription at any time to resume billing.||A billing is performed to restart the subscription, which becomes active again. The rights and usage of this subscription become accessible again.|
|Start Deferred Subscriptions||Automatically start (at regular intervals) all subscriptions whose start date has been scheduled.||Initiates the startup process for all subscriptions whose start date has just been reached.|
Change of State
When a subscription is created, it is initially in an “Initialized” state, which can be considered as a “Draft” state. It can then be started to become active.
The suspension of a subscription is not permanent; you can always restart it at any time.
Termination, on the other hand, is permanent. A terminated subscription cannot be restarted.
For more information on the possible states of an invoice, please consult the following article: “Subscription status“.